When it comes to Presidents Day, John Tyler is not top of mind for most Americans. Originally elected as vice president in 1841, Tyler reached the presidency after William Henry Harrison’s surprise death only a month after his inauguration. Dubbed “His Accidency,” Tyler came to office with some sizable assets. His father, who had served as a state and federal judge and governor of Virginia, bequeathed to him a 1,000 acre tobacco plantation. His first wife, Letitia Christian, also brought wealth to the marriage.
Tyler was the first man to gain the presidency because of the death of a sitting president and his example set the precedent that has governed ever since. He moved into the White House immediately, had the oath of office administered to him, and took the reins of government with full presidential powers. Once in power, he didn't have an easy time of it, vetoing several proposals pushed by his party. The party expelled him, most of his cabinet resigned, and he was opposed by both parties on domestic issues. But he did push ahead with the annexation of the Republic of Texas, considered his landmark achievement, which would paved the way much later for a Texas resident and Top 10 wealthy president to occupy the White House.